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MC3 2022: Connection

Day 2: Connecting Community (in person)
Connections between organizations, communities, and individuals strengthen our work of improving childhood conditions in Monroe County. Only with many hands sharing the work can we make Monroe County a safe, stable, nurturing place where every youth can thrive. That's why on Day 2, we held space for "connecting community" through interactive breakout sessions where participants were able to build relationships and explore opportunities for shared action. Community members joined facilitators for sessions to build connection between participants, assess our strategies for improving childhood conditions, and ask what assets we can share among each other. 


     Opening Remarks 

  • Presenters: MC3 Planning Team Members, The Honorable Judge Galvin and The Honorable Judge Harvey 


      Supporting Regulation and Somatic Engagement

  • Description: How can we connect with the present moment in such a way that is easy, safe, accessible and works for us/individually and collectively in context? In this opening session, Lisa shared some simple practices that are rooted in brain and nervous system science. These practices are accessible, and include adaptations to increase empowered agency. We started Day 2 of MC3 by taking our time, going slow in our exploration and playing, and letting go of prescriptions, agendas, shoulds, expectations and pretense, letting our brains and nervous systems sort for “the actual/factual.” In this opening session, we learned to listen to our needs and wants based on our uniquely human selves. We do this to acknowledge and honor our somatic systems, which will allow us to decrease our sense of burn-out and increase our sense of well-being. We do this so that our nervous systems and brains are cared for- so that we are cared for- in the important work that we do in our organizations.

  • Facilitator: Lisa Meuser, they/she

  • Facilitator Bio: Lisa a full-time student of being fully human and is deeply passionate about connecting and inter-relating, as we play and navigate with creation in empowering ways. In their work as a somatic therapist, they utilize transformational and wisdom-based practices in supporting people with their somatic intelligence/energies. In becoming cognitively and somatically conscious as to how the oppressive dominant narrative matrix separates us from truly living, we are able consciously choose to move into, discover and remember the realms of interdependency and liberation for all.

      Mapping for Movement: Exploring Capacity for Community Change Through Resource Mapping

  • Description: Engaging the community in the projects and partnerships that impact their lives is critical to achieving safe, stable, and nurturing conditions for all, especially youth. All too often, community engagement is driven by adults responding to funding opportunities that determine the timeline,  process, or end product of the work. What if our work began with identifying community needs, capabilities, and capacities with young people to determine what is possible with the resources we already have? In this interactive session, participants were asked to identify a real or imagined goal to mobilize and empower youth in Monroe County and strategize about how to enable youth leadership to bring the goal to fruition.

  • Facilitators: Talha J. Kahf (he, him, his), Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams (ney ee or she, her) and Lindsey Badger (no pronouns please)

  • Facilitator Bios: 

  • Talha Kahf: After moving to Indianapolis from California in 2020, Talha Kahf spent two years studying American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting at Vincennes University on the Indiana School for the Deaf campus. There, he was immersed in the Deaf community and learned about Deaf culture and Deaf ecosystem through volunteering at Miller’s Senior Living Community as the Deaf Activities Coordinator, and at Aspire Indiana Health to attend their Deaf clinical staffings. In Fall 2022, he transferred to IUPUI as a BSW student while remaining persistent in his studies in ASL. Alongside his double major, Talha is also minoring in Arabic and working towards obtaining a Child Abuse and Neglect certificate. His internship with the ICADV has allowed him to further expand his knowledge and sharpen his skills in the name of preventing violence. Concurrently, he passionately followed his love for animals working full-time at Uncle Bill’s Pet Centers.

  • Lindsey Badger: Lindsey Badger is the Prevention Coordinator at Middle Way House.

  • Cierra Olivia Thomas Williams: Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams, MA (ney ee or she/her/hers) is a Prevention Specialist at Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) whose work focuses on advancing disability justice through the primary prevention of violence. Ney ee is a fat queer thoyewa (Disabled) Nissenan Miwok assa (woman). After 17 years as a victim’s advocate who also coordinated prevention efforts for local shelters in Oregon and Indiana, Cierra joined the ICADV prevention team in 2015. Ms. Thomas-Williams works collaboratively with the ICADV prevention team to develop, implement, evaluate, and report on strategies supporting Indiana’s sexual violence prevention plan and intimate partner violence prevention plan. In 2018, Cierra co-founded and co-leads Indiana disability justice (idj) along with six other neurodivergent and Disabled people, and people with disabilities. In 2022, Cierra earned the outstanding prevention services award from Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking. 

  • Session Resources: Podmapping Worksheet, Solidarity with Trans Youth Resource, Monroe County Community Strengths and Needs Assessment Data


     Maximizing our Impact: The E4 Strategy Selection Framework

  • Description: Advocates working to promote safe, stable and nurturing communities for children know that this is the most important work there is. We see the joy and possibilities when our children can safely grow and thrive; and we see the impacts of harm when our organizations, systems and communities fail to meet our kids’ needs. Though we have unlimited passion for our work, our progress is often constrained by limited resources. Additionally, many of us working in the field have inherited programs that were developed in the past, by and for other people. Where these strategies fall short in creating the changes that we seek, we often believe that the fault is with the reach or dosage of the program, rather than questioning whether the approach is the right one for accomplishing our goals. At the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, we developed the E4 Strategy Selection Framework to help us think through these challenges and to break some of the organizational habits that were slowing our progress towards our vision. We use E4 to help us make more deliberate decisions about the strategies that we choose, in order to maximize the relevance, reach and impact of our work. With this session, participants will view program strategies through the lenses of equity, effectiveness, ethics and efficiency in order to choose efforts that best align with community strengths and needs to promote communities where all young people can successfully grow and thrive.

  • Facilitators: Colleen Yeakle (she, her) and Stephanie Solomon (she, her) 

  • Facilitator Bios: 

  • Colleen Yeakle, MSW, has served as an advocate in the domestic and sexual violence fields for over 23 years, and currently serves as the Coordinator of Evaluation and Program Planning for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In this role, Colleen works with community, state and national partners to develop, implement and evaluate new strategies for preventing domestic violence and providing survivor-centered supports. Colleen received her Master’s Degree from the Indiana University
    School of Social Work in 2009, and was recognized as the school’s Distinguished Alumni in 2015.

  • Stephanie Solomon, MPH, (she/her) is the Youth Programs Coordinator working in Primary Prevention with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  She spent over 3 years as Prevention Coordinator with the Youth Services Bureau of Monroe County, with a focus on promoting safe, inclusive, and equitable environments for youth and families.  She spent a decade working in food justice at the community food resource center, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. She is a graduate of Indiana University with 19 years of experience working for social change and received a Master’s in Public Health from Indiana University’s School of Public Health. Solomon is passionate about co-building spaces that promote social justice and belonging.

  • Session Resources: Maximizing our Impact, E4 Strategy Selection Framework slides

cierra, linds, talha

615 S. Adams St

Bloomington, Indiana

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